Romans 15:4-13

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.

May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.  For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.

As it is written, “Therefore I will confess you among the Gentiles, and sing praises to your name”;
     and again he says, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people”;
     and again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples praise him”;
     and again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse shall come, the one who rises to rule the Gentiles; in him the Gentiles shall hope.”

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 From Rev. Aaron Watkins, First Christian Church, Bluefield:

There is power in numbers. It’s an old cliché that we have all heard and that  I believe to be true.  Imagine a football game with 11 people on offense and one person on defense. That one person could not do much by himself to stop the offense from scoring a touchdown. Here is an analogy for Christians: We are more effective when we are unified for Christ as one body, whether in the larger body of Christ or one small congregation.  Verse 5 says, “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus.” 

We need each other get to the end of this race.  But in the process, may we come together in Christ, may we encourage each other in Christ, and may we in our living glorify the God and Father, singing praises to Him! 

May we be one with all of your people, O God,

in the endless song of praise to you.